Carolyn and I decided to visit Lake Thunderbird early yesterday morning to see if we could get some fawn pics. We didn’t see a single deer, which is really unusual out there. Our visit was cut short when a thunderstorm ran us home. I made a second pot of coffee and sat out on the patio to enjoy the rain and the birds. When I saw Daddy come in without a bug the second time and just stick his head in the box briefly, I knew the babies had fledged. He always does this after babies fledge. It seems he is just making sure no one is left behind.
Mama and Daddy always take the fledglings down to a thickly wooded creek. They will continue to feed the babies for several days as they gain the skills to feed themselves. The babies will be strong fliers by day 28 and feed themselves by day 30. About 68 percent of a bluebird diet is insects: grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, spiders, and caterpillars. They also like fruit – e.g., flowering dogwood, holly, mulberry, wild grape, Virginia creeper, pokeweed, and Viburnum. I will continue to put out mealworms. The parents gather up several at a time and ferry them to the babies. Usually the adults bring the babies for a backyard visit about a week after fledging.
Last year the bluebirds raised two broods, but southern bluebirds sometimes raise three or even four broods. We’ll just have to wait and see. I’ve mentioned that I think Mama is an old bird, so I’m not sure she is up to the rigors of another nesting, but she might surprise us.
The mockingbird babies have filled up their nest and barely fit. They will be fledging in a couple of days. I really had some trepidation about conflict between the mockers and the bluebirds, but things worked out pretty well. Between Daddy and the male mocker, potential nest predators were quickly run out of the yard.
This bluebird saga is not over, but there may not be much to report the next few days. Sign up to be notified by email if we have a new post.
Second brood summary:
- 07 May First egg laid
- 08 May Second egg laid
- 09 May Third egg laid
- 14 May Incubation began
- 25 May Two eggs hatched, one remaining
- 29 May Unhatched egg removed. Unfertilized
- 10 June babies fledged